The Easel

Gentileschi: Let us not allow sexual violence to define the artist

Some of Gentileschi’s works portray frenzied violence. Is this an expression of her “thrilling” talent or lingering trauma from rape by her art tutor? If we think the latter, are we limiting her work to being just “a visual record of her personal and psychological make up”? And what then about our view of the eminent English artist Eric Gill, who was not a victim of sexual violence but, it seems, a perpetrator?